Knicks expected to pursue Kevin Durant; does Kristaps Porzingis give them a chance?

Kevin Durant is expected to command a max contract that starts at $25 million per season. AP Photo/Doug McSchooler

If you're ranking potential Kevin Durant suitors, the New York Knicks probably shouldn't be near the top of your list.

The club, which has won just 49 games over the past two seasons, certainly doesn't give Durant the best chance to win a title next season.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors all give Durant a much better shot at winning a ring than the Knicks -- or any other Eastern Conference team expected to pursue Durant, per ESPN's Marc Stein.

According to Stein, insiders believe Durant is most likely to sign a two-year contract with Oklahoma City with a player option for the second season.

This would give Durant, 27, the chance to make another run at a title with Russell Westbrook, and would put Durant in line for a massive long-term contract in the summer of 2017, when the cap is expected to rise to $108 million.

Finances and title chances aside, the Knicks will probably get a meeting this summer with Durant and Rich Kleiman of Roc Nation Sports, who is based in New York City.

Durant has told friends that he's a big fan of Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis, whom he dubbed a "unicorn" last season. League sources say Durant's opinion on Porzingis and his friendship with Carmelo Anthony are two factors that will likely play a role in how Durant views the Knicks.

One big potential strike against New York? Phil Jackson's decision to fire Derek Fisher. Fisher and Durant grew close in Oklahoma City, and Durant made it known at the time that he was unhappy with the organization's decision to fire his friend, per league sources. Privately, some folks with the Knicks believed they had a decent shot to land Durant when Fisher was on the sideline.

Speaking of coaching, New York is expected to announce the hiring of Jeff Hornacek this week. It's unclear how or if Hornacek will impact Durant's thinking. But the ex-Suns coach will be the Knicks' fifth coach in the past six seasons -- not exactly the picture of stability.

Another potential coaching factor? Knicks assistants Brian Keefe and Josh Longstaff worked closely with Durant in Oklahoma City -- and Keefe in particular had a strong relationship with Durant. Keefe's and Longstaff's futures with the club are uncertain at this point, and their status with the Knicks could play a role in how seriously Durant views the franchise.

There are other on-court factors to consider as well: People around the league familiar with Durant's situation believe the Knicks would need to upgrade at point guard to be serious contenders for the 2013-14 MVP. Of course, it would be extremely difficult for the Knicks to sign a top point guard and have enough money to sign Durant to a max contract this summer.

The more viable route would be to land a point guard via trade, but it would be a challenge for the Knicks to put together a package valuable enough to land a top point guard.

All of the above assumes, of course, that the Knicks will have enough money to pursue Durant in the first place.

Durant will command a max contract that starts at $25 million per season. The Knicks could have as much as $33 million in cap space this summer, but that depends on whether Arron Afflalo ($8 million) and Derrick Williams ($4.6 million) pick up their player options.